97 Taurus tapping

My 97 Taurus GL sedan (3.0 Vulcan) has the following symptom:
When driving (either straight or around bends) between 5-30MPH, i can hear and feel a sharp tapping coming from the front drivers side. It's not very
loud, but can be felt in the pedal and heard if you listen for it. The tap seems to be once per tire revolution. I checked the tire for obvious problems (a bottle cap or nail, etc) and everything seems fine. There isn't any shaking (IE, the rim isn't bent).
After 30MPH, it's not as noticeable (actually, I believe the taps just blend into one another).
It started all of a sudden a few days ago, nothing out of the ordinary has happend to the car that i can think of, i haven't driven over a curb or hit a pothole at 60 mph, etc.
Any ideas?
Cheers
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How about removing the front tire, what does a visual inspection reveal? What does the outer CV joint look like on the driver's side, is the rubber housing intact?
Matt
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I haven't had a chance to remove the tire, but i turned the wheel all the way to the left, and checked the boot (then drove forward a touch so i could see the other side). No obvious cracks or tears in it, and I don't see that any grease has flown up around the wheel well. (I believe usually when a CV joint tears all the grease tends to fly onto the wheel well doesn't it? It's been pretty slushy and sloppy here though, so it may have washed away)
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